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The Old Tiger is the fifth and last scenario of the Bayinnaung campaign in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas.

Intro[]

1580 AD. Year Thirty of the reign of the Cakkavatti.

Though the tiger grows old, his hunger does not leave him. It grows with age, driving him to fresh hunting grounds and giving him a taste for more dangerous prey!

For thirty years, I have ruled Burma and made a dozen kings bow before me. But what will they say of my life? That I ruled by the sword and killed many men? That I, a King, was a slave to my desire? The Old Tiger is stubborn but he knows when his hunger has gotten the best of him.

My sons lead the army to conquer the Rakhine coast; the gateway to India. They are like their father once, chasing in vain across the earth for their greatest victory...

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

  • Starting Age: ImperialageDE Imperial Age
  • Starting resources: None
  • Population limit: 80

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On standard difficulty, the player will get 34,000 food, 29,000 wood, 29,000 gold, 1,500 stone after bringing Bayinnaung to the four temples.
  • On moderate/hard difficulty, the player will get 26,000 food, 23,000 wood, 23,000 gold, 500 stone after bringing Bayinnaung to the four temples. Additionally, the player's four Cannon Galleons to the west and three Bombard Cannons in the eastern base will be removed by trigger immediately after the game starts, along with two Monks from the eastern base.

Objectives[]

  • Bayinnaung must survive.
  • Bring Bayinnaung to the four Buddhist temples (Wonders).
  • Defeat all enemies.

Hints[]

  • You initially cannot train any units, but once Bayinnaung's meditations are completed, you will have a population limit of 300.
  • Raid your enemies to weaken them later on, but bear in mind that sustaining too many losses will make it difficult to complete Bayinnaung's meditations.
  • Plan on deploying Thinga Dathta's army at some point before visiting all the Buddhist temples. You can either merge his forces with Bayinnaung's, or land them separately to cripple your enemies in advance.
  • Your Monks start with Theocracy researched - use them to turn the odds in your favor.
  • While venturing to the Buddhist temples, be careful not to let your forces take too much damage from enemy castles.

Scouts[]

  • Bayinnaung's sons, Nanda and Thinga, attack the Rakhine capital of Mrauk U from both land and sea. Because the Burmese army is so far from the homelands, their supplies are limited.
  • The Portuguese (6, Purple) command the northern end of Mrauk U and fight as mercenaries of the Rakhine. They rely on their Feitorias for resources and will periodically harass Bayinnaung's forces with Organ Guns, Cavaliers, infantry, and Monks. Beware the defensive capabilities of their Wonder.

The Rakhine are split into three separate factions:

  • The East Rakhine (5, Orange) control a fortress near Bayinnaung's starting location. They will initially not interfere with his pilgrimage, but will threaten his camp by the time he visits all of the Temples. They train Rattan Archers, swordsmen, Battle Elephants, Skirmishers and siege weapons.
  • The South Rakhine (4, Cyan) dominate the area surrounding the first two Buddhist Temples. They train Elite Battle Elephants, Hand Cannoneers, infantry, and warships.
  • The West Rakhine (3, Yellow) are your main roadblock to visiting the final two Buddhist Temples. If allowed to build up their economy, their Battle Elephants, Elephant Archers, Siege Elephants, Rathas, Pikeman, and Imperial Skirmishers will prove quite formidable.

Starting conditions[]

  • Starting Age: ImperialageDE Imperial Age
  • Starting resources: None
  • Population limit: 300

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On standard difficulty, the player will get 34,000 food, 29,000 wood, 29,000 gold, 1,500 stone after bringing Bayinnaung to the four temples.
  • On moderate/hard difficulty, the player will get 26,000 food, 23,000 wood, 23,000 gold, 500 stone after bringing Bayinnaung to the four temples. Additionally, The four Cannon Galleons to the west and three Bombard Cannons in the eastern base will be removed soon after the game starts.

Objectives[]

  • Bayinnaung and Nanda must not fall in battle.
  • Bring Bayinnaung to the four Buddhist temples (Wonders).
  • Defeat all enemies.

Hints[]

  1. At start, you will not be able to train units, but once Bayinnaung's meditations are completed, you will have a population limit of 300.
  2. You must be aggressive as your resources are limited. A slow approach will only result in a slow defeat.
  3. The faster you complete Bayinnaung's meditations, the less time your enemies have to train units for the final battle.
  4. A group of Monks with Theocracy can turn any odds in your favor.

Scouts[]

  • Bayinnaung's sons, Nanda and Thinga, attack the Rakhine capital of Mrauk U from both land and sea. Because the Burmese army is so far from the homelands, their supplies are limited.
  • The Rakhine (3, Yellow) have stockpiled resources and have time on their side. The longer the siege lasts, the greater the Rakhine's relative strength becomes.
  • The Portuguese (6, Purple) command the northern end of Mrauk U and fight as mercenaries of the Rakhine. Their ports are well-defended by Bombard Towers. Beware their Wonder which has strong defensive capabilities.

Players[]

Player[]

Ally[]

  • Bayinnaung (Burmese AoE2 Burmese): The aging king of Burma. During the first part of the scenario they control the two bases later given to the player and when Bayinnung himself (in this scenario a renamed Bui Bi) is meditating he is taken over and thus immobile and vulnerable.

Neutral[]

  • Mrauk U (Burmese AoE2 Burmese): The capital of Rakhine and serves decorative purposes in the form of various buildings.

Enemies[]

  • East Rakhine (Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese): They have a resource-rich walled-off base containing two Town Centers to the northwest of the player's eastern camp, defended by four Castles. Thus, their economy is difficult to raid. Initially, they will not attack the player. If the player harasses them from afar, they will send small armies to attack the player. Once Bayinnaung completes his meditation, however, or if the player ventures too close to their base, they become actively hostile and train a flood of Battle Elephants, Rattan Archers, Elite Skirmishers, Pikemen, and Scorpions. Unless the player attacks immediately, they will likely upgrade their troops to their elite versions. Additionally, they will also train War Galleys, and start with a few, as well as some Guard Towers on rocky islands to defend the seaward approaches to their base.
  • South Rakhine (Malay AoE2 Malay): They have bases around the first three Temples Bayinnaung must visit. In addition to Castles and production buildings around each Temple, they have two Town Centers in the south of the map, one defended by three Keeps. Their starting army consists of Elite Battle Elephants, Elite Karambit Warriors, and Hand Cannoneers, along with a handful of Monks. When provoked, they will train more of these units, as well as Two-Handed Swordsmen and Knights. As Malay, their docks are Harbors, but their fishing economy and shoreline are protected by three Fire Towers.
  • West Rakhine (Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis): They have a base to the far west, around the fourth Temple, although they have a few production buildings around the third Temple so some of their troops will be drawn in to defend it. They have two Town Centers in the middle of their base, one of which is walled in and defended by a Castle and the other nearby, while they have a third Town Center in the far west of their base. They have two other Castles, one by the fourth Temple and one to the northeast, on the coast. They field an army of Elite Battle Elephants, Elite Rathas, Elite Elephant Archers, and Halberdiers, later adding a few Imperial Skirmishers as well. They will build a few War Galleys and Fast Fire Ships, and begin with a small fleet of War Galleys screening the otherwise undefended beach to the northwest of the fourth Temple.
  • Portuguese (Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese): They have a base to the north of the East Rakhine. They will periodically harass the player's eastern base with detatchments of Champions, Halberdiers, and Cavaliers, while their base is protected by Conquistadors, Organ Guns, Crossbowmen or Arbalesters, and Monks, as well as by the East Rakhine base. They also build a navy of Caravels, supported by a few Cannon Galleons they begin with.

Player[]

  • Player (Burmese AoE2 Burmese): The army of the Toungoo Empire, split into two camps. In the east, there is a camp located across a bridge, where Bayinnaung and Nanda command a sizable army. In the west, there is a fleet with several Transport Ships. Both camps have military production buildings, and the western camp has five Docks.

Ally[]

  • Bayinnaung (Burmese AoE2 Burmese): The aging king of Burma. During the first part of the scenario they control the two bases later given to the player and when Bayinnung himself (in this scenario a renamed Bui Bi) is meditating he is taken over and thus immobile and vulnerable.

Neutral[]

  • Mrauk U (Burmese AoE2 Burmese): The capital of Rakhine that serves decorative purposes in the form of various buildings.

Enemies[]

Strategy[]

The player begins with the largest army, but faces two problems: they have no economy nor any buildings, meaning they cannot replenish any losses, and are missing all Imperial Age technologies except Theocracy, Dry Dock, and Halberdier. This means that the enemies troops will soon boast better stats with Imperial Age Blacksmith technologies and elite upgrades, while the player's limited supply of siege weapons are weakened from missing Siege Engineers and Chemistry and their Monks are outranged by enemy Monks with Block Printing and must recover all their faith, lacking Illumination. The player's War Galleys will also struggle against the Portuguese Caravels if they can build up their fleet.

Note: the four Temples are called first, second, third, and fourth in order from east to west, since that's the order Bayinnaung usually visits them, heading west from the eastern base.

With the release of Dynasties of India, the Rakhine players have been renamed and color changed to West (Bengalis), South (Malay), and East (Vietnamese) Rakhine, with corresponding foothold in those areas of the map, rather than being intermixed. The scenario is a lot easier than before. First, all enemies except the Portuguese have a base that will produce economy instead of infinitely booming an army, also providing a source of new villagers to convert. Second, all three factions of the Rakhine are in defensive mode if the player does not attack. This means the player only needs to fight West and South Rakhine's troops around each Temple one region at a time, instead of facing the entire faction's troops at once, allowing the player to pick them off. East Rakhine, though, will attack with their entire force. Third, Nanda was removed from the scenario and only has a speaking role, so the player no longer needs to keep him alive. Theocracy has already been researched, making micromanaging easier. In addition, the island at the northern corner of the map has Urumi Swordsmen and two Monks with Relics. There are many Relics and some Markets for the player, which gives a chance to fight when all resources are used up. Lastly, the player has more Trebuchets and Bombard Cannons, and the Burmese Battle Elephants have more melee armor than before.

Since all three Rakhine players develop an economy, they all start relatively weak. However, they will boom quickly, and if the player takes too long to destroy their economy, they will be able to spam large amounts of troops at the player once they attack. Therefore, who to attack and destroy first is an important consideration. All three Rakhine players resign when they lose their Castles and Town Centers and when their armies are small enough. The Portuguese must lose their Castle and Wonder and troops instead, but not their Feitorias.

Converting Villagers[]

It's possibly to convert enemy Villagers and buildings in this scenario, however the player will need to convert many houses to get enough population space to begin training units. Converting enemy Villagers is relatively useless, since they cannot drop off their goods and the enemy players do not build Lumber Camps, Mills, and Mining Camps to be converted, so the player cannot accumulate any resources without converting the Portuguese's Feitoria. Even if the player does so and has resources, any converted Villagers will only be able to build Docks and towers, so converted Villagers are most useful for repairing any damaged siege weapons, unless the player wants to use Guard Towers or Keeps against the Rakhine. Instead, any resources are best put into researching upgrades. The player lacks all Imperial Age Blacksmith technologies, as well as Siege Engineers, Chemistry, Architecture, Elite Battle Elephants, Champions, Elite Arambai, and Manipur Cavalry. While they also lack Block Printing, Illumination, and Faith, enemy Monasteries cannot be converted.

Dual advance[]

If the player is able to micromanage two armies at once, or if they are allowed to pause the game and issue orders, they can lead both armies on the attack at once. It may be a good idea to disembark the western army from their Transport Ships first to reorganize the army and put all the Bombard Cannons and Monks onto the same Transport Ship, and to set the Bombard Cannons onto No Attack stance to prevent them from accidentally triggering an enemy attack, or onto Stand Ground stance so they do not get separated from the rest of the army. It may also be a good idea to garrison Bayinnaung into one of the Castles just in case, since he has four range compared to the Monks' nine.

Landing spots[]

Dealing with the West and South Rakhine means provoking their troops around each temple and drawing them back to the army to be converted or destroyed out of enemy Castle range. This means that the player should not land their western army close to West Rakhine's westernmost castle, since that stretch of beach is covered by it. Instead, there are three potential landing spots: the southwest end of the beach, which will put the player's army near one of West Rakhine's Town Centers; the northeast end of the beach, which will put West Rakhine's central Castle in range of the player's Bombard Cannons and is also close to their western Castle; or within West Rakhine's walled town, which is guarded by their central Castle and their easternmost Town Center. The first option is the safest and results in a steady push eastwards sniping West Rakhine's Castles and Town Centers while converting their troops, while the player can try to destroy one of West Rakhine's castle from safety using the second option while building up a force of converted troops for their push toward the other Castles. The third option is the most risky, as the shore is defended by enemy Guard Towers, requiring the player to use their War Galleys to draw fire, and the army will land very close to an enemy Castle and army. However, if the player succeeds in bringing down the Castle, they can immediately bring down a Town Center, and established a safe zone protected by West Rakhine's walls which funnel enemies through gaps and gates for easier conversion. From West Rakhine's own base, the player can attack West Rakhine's easternmost Castle and central Town Center with their Bombard Cannons.

If the player chooses to land on the beach to the west, then send the warships first to destroy all six of West Rakhine's ships guarding the beach. Whichever spot they chose, the warships should all be sent northeast of the western camp to wait once the troops have been landed. They will be sent east to attack the Portuguese navy later, and they must go north to avoid South and East Rakhine's towers.

In any case, be careful when landing. The Bombard Cannons may disembark in a scattered, haphazard way, especially if the landing spot is crowded. Once a safe zone is established, heal up troops if that is needed and push onwards.

When fighting the West Rakhine, prioritize converting their Ratha Chariots and Elephant Archers. Ratha Chariots are more useful troops to the player, but converting Elephant Archers relieves pressure on the player's army in a battle, as they are easier to convert and take longer for West Rakhine to kill due to their high HP. The player can choose to try to convert West Rakhine's Villagers, production buildings, Markets, and camps as well. If doing so, it may be best to set the army onto Defensive or Stand Ground stances.

East Rakhine[]

While the western army attacks the West Rakhine, the eastern army should attack the East Rakhine. Use the Trebuchets to attack their towers and gate, which will draw their army out. Convert their Battle Elephants and Rattan Archers if any Monks have faith left. Do not rush in, instead pack the Trebuchets once the gate and towers are down and move them to attack the first Castle the player sees. During this time, East Rakhine will still send troops at the player, so be sure to kill or convert them. The Portuguese will also periodically launch attacks with detachments of Pikemen and Champions. Once the first Castle goes down, the Town Center should be destroyed. The player can use their Battle Elephants to destroy it while moving their Trebuchets to attack East Rakhine's other Castle, or use their Trebuchets since the Town Center is already in range. Once the Town Center and the two Castles are down, East Rakhine becomes much less active.

Use the Trebuchets to destroy the eastern gate leading to the next layer of East Rakhine's base. During this time, stray Knights, Cavaliers, Skirmishers, Monks, and Organ Guns may venture out, and should be converted. South Rakhine may also send lone monks to pick up any relics dropped from East Rakhine's Monasteries. Convert them too if possible, and convert any Villagers and buildings necessary. Once the eastern gate goes down, move the Trebuchets to take down a Castle just behind the gate, and then move them westwards to destroy East Rakhine's final Castle. Again, once that Castle goes down, destroy the Town Center. East Rakhine should resign shortly after. While East Rakhine does not train many troops to attack the player once the southern half of their base is destroyed, the Portuguese may still try to take down the player's Trebuchets. It is important to not attack the Portuguese base until East Rakhine has resigned, as if their base is attacked, they will retaliate with a massed Cavalier and Crossbowmen attack. This may be difficult to avoid since the Portuguese will continuously send Monks out to pick up relics dropped from East Rakhine Monasteries, so it might be worth letting them just take the relics, as they will be defeated soon.

South Rakhine and Portuguese[]

Whenever West and East Rakhine resign, the player's army should push on. It may help to set the player's diplomatic stance towards all resigned enemies to "Ally" so the player's troops troops do not begin to automatically straying off to attack their remaining buildings. With South Rakhine, move slowly, using Ratha Chariots to draw enemy troops toward the player's Monks, before moving in with the Bombard Cannons to destroy Castles and production buildings. Prioritize converting South Rakhine's Hand Cannoneers and Battle Elephants, as converting their Karambit Warriors brings little benefit. South Rakhine has two Castles that can be easily destroyed, one toward the south of the third Temple and the westernmost Castle within the walled base housing the second Temple. The remaining two Castles will require both of the player's armies to bring down. So, once those two castles are destroyed, bring the western army south to destroy South Rakhine's economy. South Rakhine may retaliate with the Elite Battle Elephants, Elite Karambit Warriors, Two-Handed Swordsmen, and Cavaliers they have at their second Temple, but their army can be easily converted or killed without their Castles' protective fire. Make sure to destroy or convert all their production buildings, else the player might face surprise Knight, Battle Elephant, or Two-Handed Swordsmen attacks in their rear.

With the Portuguese, use the Trebuchets to attack the towers guarding the gates to their base. When they counterattack, bring the Battle Elephants to block their troops while converting as many Cavaliers as possible. Once their cavalry screen goes down, their Crossbowmen are easily killed or dispersed, and once the towers are destroyed, the player should use their Trebuchets to destroy the gates.

During this time, the Portuguese may attack with their Cannon Galleons. Hold off on converting them and just move the Trebuchets out of range, since if they are converted they will be instantly destroyed by the Portuguese navy. Once the gates go down, move the Trebuchets up to destroy the Castle, and bring the army forward to protect them. At the same time, bring the player's navy east to destroy the Portuguese's. The Monks at this point should be used to convert the Portuguese Cannon Galleons and Caravels to bolster their navy. Micro the Cannon Galleons well to keep them safe, and use them to destroy the Portuguese towers protecting the shore. When the Portuguese Castle is destroyed, bring the Trebuchets up to destroy their Wonder. The Cannon Galleons can help too if it's safe, otherwise keep the army back to protect the Trebuchets. Once the Portuguese lose their Wonder, they will resign shortly.

The player now faces a choice: they can use their converted Cannon Galleons (hopefully both have been converted) to bring down South Rakhine's two Castles by the second Temple from complete safety (making sure that South Rakhine's Fire Towers and Harbors are destroyed), which if the player has already destroyed South Rakhine's Town Centers means that South Rakhine will resign if they lose their last Castle, at the first Temple. Since the player only has at most two Cannon Galleons (on Moderate/Hard), though, this can take a tediously long time. If they're impatient, they can instead use their armies to attack South Rakhine. Either way, the eastern army must move south to attack South Rakhine's Castle around the first Temple.

Defeating South Rakhine conventionally[]

Bring the eastern army back south to the first Temple. When South Rakhine's Castle at the first Temple is destroyed, move forward to while brining the western army east to the second Temple. With the two armies combined, use the siege weapons to destroy the Castles while using the troops and Monks to fend off any Karambit Warriors, Hand Cannoneers, Cavaliers, Two-Handed Swordsmen, or Battle Elephants that try to attack them. Once South Rakhine's Castles go down, destroy their Town Centers if they haven't been destroyed already, and they should resign. Simply bring Bayinnaung to each of the four Temples to win, as defeating all enemies does not win the game automatically. Bayinnaung has to die.

Note: After the first part of the game, it will become a deathmatch and enemies will be very aggressive. It is strongly recommended to defeat all four enemies before the meditation.

Western advance[]

If the player cannot micromanage both armies offensively, then the best option is to use the western army to attack West Rakhine and South Rakhine, while defending against East Rakhine and the Portuguese. This is because West Rakhine is arguably the most dangerous enemy if allowed to boom up, and defeating West and South Rakhine allows the player to enter the second phase of the scenario where they can train troops and research upgrades to defeat East Rakhine and the Portuguese. Defeating East Rakhine and the Portuguese early means the player still has to defeat West and South Rakhine without being able to train troops.

The western army's path is mostly the same as if both armies attacked at once, and the eastern army should still be brought out to help destroy South Rakhine's final two Castles. Focus on trying to convert as many West Rakhine and South Rakhine troops as possible to bolster the western army. Once West and South Rakhine are defeated, bring Bayinnaung to all four Temples.

Eastern defense[]

To hold the eastern camp, bring the Battle Elephants in to hold the end of the bridge so they can enjoy the Castles' and Arambai's protective fire. Setting the elephants to defensive stance and the Arambai to stand ground stance to keep them from straying too far from cover can help make the defense more effective. The Portuguese will periodically send small detachments of Pikemen, Champions, and a few Cavaliers to attack the base. The player's Monks can be used to convert these troops as they attack, and they should be used to heal the elephants between attacks. If the player provokes East Rakhine, for example by using their Trebuchets from within their base to attack East Rakhine's walls, they will send small waves of Battle Elephants, Rattan Archers, and Skirmishers to attack. This can serve as a source of replenishment for Battle Elephants by converting them. Bayinnaung can be used to convert enemies and heal troops, but make sure to keep him safe as he has less range than the player's Monks. The eastern army can be largely left alone until the alarm sounds that the Portuguese or East Rakhine are attacking. Under no circumstances venture too close to East Rakhine's base or attack its gate, since that also triggers its AI to become aggressive.

East Rakhine deathmatch[]

Once Bayinnaung visits the fourth Temple and dies, East Rakhine should become much more aggressive, attacking with a near constant flood of Battle Elephants, Rattan Archers, Imperial Skirmishers, and Scorpions. It may be a good idea to delay his final meditation to collect all the relics and the Gaia Monks and Urumi Swordsmen first. Once Bayinnaung's buildings are handed over to the player, however, his Monasteries will ungarrison all their relics, so the player has to manually regarrison them. In anticipation of his death, bring all the troops into the eastern camp, with the Battle Elephants at the end of the bridge to hold off any attackers and the Arambai and any converted ranged troops behind to provide extra fire. The other melee troops and siege weapons should be held back, while the Monks can be put to the side of the elephants to heal and convert enemies.

The moment the player receives resources and takes over Bayinnaung's buildings, they should begin researching and training troops. The absolute first thing is researching Chemistry at a University. While that's researching, queue up Siege Engineers and Architecture if needed, Block Printing and Illumination at the Monastery, Bracer, Blast Furnace, Plate Mail Armor, and Plate Barding Armor at the two Blacksmiths (one in each base), as well as any elite upgrades for the player's army. All Docks should begin producing War Galleys, although the player can choose to upgrade them to Galleons at one Dock. The player can train additional Elite Battle Elephants, Bombard Cannons, Trebuchets, and Monks to replenish any losses, as well as any other troops deemed necessary. Once Chemistry is researched, immediately switch all docks to producing Cannon Galleons, although it may be a good idea to upgrade them to Elite Cannon Galleons at one Dock. Mass at least twenty.

Meanwhile, the East Rakhine may be attacking the eastern camp's Castle or towers with lone or pairs of Trebuchets. Use the Trebuchets or Bombard Cannons to destroy them. Convert as many enemy troops attacking as possible, prioritizing Battle Elephants, Cavaliers, Champions, Rattan Archers, and Organ Guns. Worry less about what is being converted and that all Monks with their faith full are converting.

Once the player has a fleet of Cannon Galleons, they should attack East Rakhine's fleet to the west of their base. Go in with the War Galleys; the player can train some Fire Ships and Demolition Ships as well. Once East Rakhine's fleet is destroyed, use the Cannon Galleons to destroy any defensive buildings, and then level as much of East Rakhine's base as possible, especially Town Centers and production buildings. Do not venture too far north and provoke the Portuguese fleet until East Rakhine is destroyed.

Once the Cannon Galleons have destroyed as much as possible, then move the army out to destroy the rest of their base. Attack Move across the bridge, and the player's army should be able to sweep the East Rakhine troops away and advance up to their walls. Breach the gate, and focus on bringing down their Castles and Town Centers. Once East Rakhine loses all their Castles and Town Centers, they will resign.

Cleaning up the Portuguese[]

It's recommended to build a small fleet of Demolition and Fire Ships to send at the Portuguese fleet, backed by the War Galleys. Hold them back for the moment as the army draws the Portuguese army out of their walls. With newly trained elephants and more Monks, destroying the Portuguese army should not be too difficult.

Once the gate is breached, go for the Castle with the siege weapons, and bring the navy in to attack. When most of the Portuguese Caravels are destroyed, bring the Cannon Galleons in to bombard the Castle and Wonder, in conjunction with the army. When these two buildings fall, the Portuguese will resign, and the scenario will be won.

Designated way[]

This scenario can be frustrating, but it is an interesting challenge in its own right.

At the start, you have limited resources to overcome an unlimited stream of foes. On top of that, you have 2 heroes which cannot die, lest you forfeit the scenario. You cannot make new units, and you have to besiege a number of castles while fighting archers that will try to kite you, all while protecting Bayinnaung as he moves from one meditation point to the next. You'll have enemies coming at you from all sides, and you cannot devote the time to a slow and careful approach. It requires decent micro-management skills, while also bringing all your military forces to bear on the problem.

Your army is split into 2 groups initially. One by sea, and one by land. It is possible to merge these two forces around the second meditation point, and it can be considered wise to do so, weaving your fleet and cannon galleons to help destroy the buildings on the coast, and deliver the reinforcements in your transport ships. Proceed carefully, don't let your heroes get lured away, or get left behind. If you start going too slow, the enemy (Elite) Rattan Archers really show off how powerful and annoying they can be in this scenario. You need to move quickly. Once you've completed the meditations, things change, including automatic death of Bayinnaung. From here on out, things get a lot easier. You get tons of resources, and all the buildings that you were locked out of are now yours to command.

Convert a couple of the land based military buildings to create a guard around your remaining land-based hero. Elite skirmisher spam is recommended, with some elephants for a meat shield. Once you've secured your immediate vicinity, and your heroes aren't about to die, spam technologies, and get a massive fleet of galleons and elite cannon galleons. Bomb the coast until there is nothing left, take out those pesky Portuguese (yes, you can convert the feitorias, though with your resources, you shouldn't need to; while the Portuguese have Heresy on their tech tree, it is not researched in this scenario). Build up another army in the south east where you started, and pulverize your foes between the hammer of an elephant army with siege support, and the anvil of your mighty fleet.

Note: Moderate/Hard mode removes all four Cannon Galleons and three Bombard Cannons. Basically, the player only has two Trebuchets with the land army and two Bombard Cannons with the sea army. A sea invasion toward the second meditation point would then probably be a bit suicidal, but ships are rather cannon-fodder on this map so some nice timing will see the player merging the two armies.

Preemptive strike[]

Alternatively, the player might choose to defeat all enemies (or at least Rakhine) before even starting Bayinnaung's meditations. This is possible because enemy forces have specific resignation triggers:

  • The Vietnamese resign if they lose both their Castles;
  • The outer Rakhine defense force (Player 4) resigns if they lose all four Castles. They are indistinguishable from player 3 in terms of civilization, name or color, so the player should know which specific Castles need to be destroyed.
  • Player 3 (Rakhine around the southern edge of the map) resigns once Player 3 and the Vietnamese have done so.
  • The Portuguese resign if they lose their Castle and Wonder.

Bayinnaung and one of his sons start out at the eastern tip of the map. It is a good idea to leave them behind, as losing any of them results in automatic defeat. The rest of the army should be divided into control groups and set to defensive stance as soon as possible. Battle Elephants should be used to soak up damage, while the Arambai kill enemy units from safety behind their backs. Remember, those elephants come with Howdah researched, and backed by Monks, they can soak up insane amounts of arrow fire. The Easten Army should cross the bridge and immediately head north towards the Vietnamese instead of west towards the monument.

Meanwhile the Seaborne army should head westward, avoiding the coast until it reaches an unoccupied sandy beach suitable for landing. Unload the land units but make sure that the Bombard Cannons are unloaded last. Keeping them alive is imperative for the strategy to work. Once the Bombard Cannons get unloaded, they will reveal a Castle in the vicinity and start attacking it. Let them destroy the Castle. The attack will provoke Rakhine to send a few infantry units, so protect the bombards at all costs. Once the Castle is destroyed, set the cannons to "No Attack" stance and the rest of the army to defensive stance.

Eastern army movement[]

Trebuchets must be preserved at all costs. The three starting Monks are also valuable, as they will extend the Battle Elephants' life span. Battle Elephants and Arambai should be microed properly, as they are the main strike force. The Cavaliers and Champions are expendable and can be sacrificed to chase down archer units.

The Trebuchets should take the two Vietnamese towers from a distance, then the gate. The Vietnamese lack even Masonry, so expect their buildings to fall quickly. Once the gate is down, use the hole as a choke point to funnel enemy units while carefully repositioning the Trebuchets to take down the Castle; it should go down without much effort. Then carefully enter the Vietnamese base and try to position at least the Champions and the Arambai on the hill to negate elevation penalties. As always, protect the Arambai. The elephants should guard the Trebuchets. The Trebuchets should quickly move in position to take down the second Vietnamese Castle. Make sure the Army is outside the Castle's range, or the player will take heavy casualties. The Vietnamese will send three elephants against the Trebuchets. The Monks should carefully convert them (be careful not to lose a Monk in the process). As soon as the Castle falls, the Vietnamese will resign.

Now move the whole Eastern Army on the hill, and attack the gate with the elephants. It will serve as another chokepoint. Position the Trebuchets in range of the next Castle and tear it down from outside the walls. Use the Arambai to stave off the Portuguese attacks from behind the walls, as they become increasingly annoying. The Castle and the gate should fall at roughly the same time, so the army should enter through the gate and reposition in a spot that allows the Trebuchets to target the next Castle. It is hidden behind a Wonder and the player's army will be exposed on an open space, so carefully micro the units. The Champions (what is left of them) can target yellow's production building to reduce enemy unit production, but make sure the Elephants and Arambai don't chase Portuguese units back to their base, because it is heavily fortified by towers. Once the (fourth) Castle is down, pack the Trebuchets and retreat to the starting base to meet up with the Seaborne Army and regroup, making sure that the Trebuchets, Monks and Arambai are protected. The player might have to sacrifice an elephant or two in the process.

Seaborne army[]

The Seaborne Army's march is much less micro-intensive. It is recommended to command the Seaborne Army and the Eastern Army simultaneously in order to make Rakhine surrender sooner.

After landing and destroying the nearby Castle, move the Bombard Cannons and some troops to protect them directly eastward along the shoreline. Do not leave the sandy beach until they reach a small forest; there's a Castle behind it. Use the cannons to destroy it from the distance. Rakhine will retaliate with some infantry, so make sure to protect them. Once the Castle is down, gather the whole Seaborne army and place it in a box formation (Monks and cannons in the middle), then move south. Bombard Cannons are no longer crucial for the success, so losing them will not require a restart of the scenario. The army must make a large U-turn in order to avoid a walled and fortified Rakhine base filled with units. Make sure not to attack Rakhine buildings along the way to avoid needless loss of units. The last Castle that has to be destroyed is on the other side of the fortified base, near the shoreline and is protected by some Harbors. Attacking it should be synchronized with the attack on the fourth Rakhine Castle in the east. Just position the Bombard Cannon in range and take it down. If the player has lost the cannons at this point, they can simply tank the Castle with all they've got; the Seaborne army is big enough to survive the ordeal. Once the Castle is down, gather all survivors and retreat south, outside the range of the Harbors and ships. Rakhine should resign soon; move towards the eastern base as soon as they do.

Finishing touches[]

With Yellow gone, the path along the Monuments is now safe, so Bayinnaung can do the pilgrimage at the player's leisure. Once he has visited all four locations, the player will receive a huge amount of resources and the ability to train units to mop up the Portuguese.

However, the survivors of the starting army, once combined, should be strong enough to either take down the Portuguese on their own, or at least to deprive them of the ability to train land units. The player should have at least the two Trebuchets standing; any Bombard Cannons left standing are a bonus. Gather all survivors and march north towards Purple's base. As always, protecting the siege units and keeping the Monks alive is a priority.

Use the siege units to take down the towers along the wall, but take care to keep as far from the water as possible. The Portuguese base is tightly packed and most of it is in range of their ships - and their Cannon Galleons are deadly. On land the Portuguese will defend with Arbalesters and infantry and while the infantry is of no concern, the Arbalesters outrange the Arambai, so micro the units properly. Once the towers are down, the siege should concentrate on destroying Portuguese's production buildings - Monastery first, then the two Archery Ranges to stop the stream of those pesky Arbalesters and Barracks should go down last. Portuguese's Castle can also be taken down from outside Portuguese's walls, so destroy it. Finally, to destroy Purple's Wonder one has to break into their base. In order to avoid the ships, do not attack the gate. Breach a piece of wall around the eastern edge of the map instead, then destroy the Feitoria directly behind it and then carefully navigate through the hole. The Portuguese Wonder shoots arrows and is within the ships' range, so it's recommended to use siege against it. Just hug the eastern edge and the siege units will be safe. The Portuguese should have no land units at this point, safe from their Conquistador Hero. Once the Wonder goes down, Purple resigns.

Outro[]

My father did not live to see the conquest of the Rakhine. The doctor claimed the lung sickness took his life, but I know my father. No man who rode a charging elephant into throngs of Shan archers, who stormed the cities of the Thai, or who ruled an empire not seen since the ancient days would die from a mere cough!

No. My father left this world because he chose to. There was only one conquest left worthy of a man like Bayinnaung.

I know legends will be told of him. I know old shamans will tell prophesies. But no deed would match his final act. Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand men is he who would conquer just one – himself.

Trivia[]

  • Strangely, if Thinga Dathta is killed it will not result in a game-over, as it would for his older brother Nanda. This may be due to Nanda assuming the Burmese throne after his father's death while no official records exist of Thinga after the siege of Mrauk-U.
  • Filipe de Brito e Nicote, a French-Portuguese adventurer and Rakhin mercenary, appears in this scenario as a Conquistador hero unit. He would later go on to become governor of Thanlyin and executed by Bayinnaung's grandson King Anaukpetlun some 30 years later.
  • In reality, the invasion of Arakan was never carried out due to Bayinnaung's declining health and his armies subsequently withdrew soon after his death.
  • The Hints claim that the Portuguese Wonder has strong defensive capabilities (it shoots arrows). This is caused by four Guard Towers placed within its foundation (they are briefly visible when the Wonder is destroyed, and are destroyed with it).
  • This is the only campaign scenario in the game in which the closing narration is spoken by a different character than in the opening narration. Because Bayinnaung dies in the middle of the scenario, one of his sons takes over for him during the ending cutscene.
  • Excluding Historical Battles, this is chronologically the latest campaign scenario in the game, being set only two decades before the start of the 17th century.
  • For reasons unknown, Gajah Mada appears as a hero unit in the westernmost Rakhine fortress. This is removed in Dynasties of India.
  • In the scenario, after Bayinnaung passes away, Nanda says that "The Rakhine stand alone against us!", while in reality the Rakhine not only have three different AI players but are also allied with the Portuguese and so the player has to fight against four enemies at the same time.
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